The Block Island Times

Bada Banging on the Boardwalk

By J. V. Houlihan, Jr. | Sep 18, 2012

The initial incident in the first episode of Boardwalk Empire, made it clear to me that this season will be wild! "Three in one oil,"  a guy says. "I don't know what that is," another guy says. "What else would it be?" This is the austere dialogue, that jettisons the narrative into hyperdrive right from the jump. Captain/Mate Donny Rooney and I have our work cut out for us, to see how this season will evolve;just like we did for several years with the Supranos-which helped while loading boats throughout cold winters; it can be a banal gig.

     While loading the Block Island this morning, I said that line to Donny as I tore by on a forklift; his ears picked up. "Joey, I think that guy was quietly introduced last season," said Donny. I couldn't remember, all I know is, is that this guy from Sicily has a short fuse, and I mean short! Period. Donny and I will keep close tabs on this guy as the season rolls on. We will be chattering about the jumpy Sicilian this season on the docks this winter.

       Just like Donny and I discuss character and story arcs on the docks these days, so did people in pre Greco Roman times; they did also in the the 15th. Century. Why you ask? Simple.  People love good stories: Homer-like stories, Poe-like, Shakespheare-like stories et al. I can see working guys and gals(wenches) in London hanging around the Globe Theatre, speculating who would get "whacked" in Romeo and Juliet or King Lear; someone always had to die, right! Perhaps these folks only had a few good teeth among them, and drank beer like water-which was not clean. Maybe they used leeches from Theodoric of York, to have a good bleeding before the play. Perhaps they were not too clean. The bottom line was, they needed to see or hear a good story in order to understand and sort out the human condition; just like we do today. Nothing's changed folks.

         So, Donny and I can see already, that Al Capone does not like being dissed, and Nucky Thomson is as crazy as a hen house rat. His wife made a pact with the devil, kind of. Actually everyone on this Boardwalk has made his own Faustian pact with the Devil, and there is not a redemptive soul strolling on this weather beaten plank by the sea.

To be continued:


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